City woman pursues dream by opening own business
ATTLEBORO – Day after day for five years, Jo-Ann Tavares would wake up, prepare for and drive to work as an administrative assistant at a local trucking company.
One day about two years ago, just after COVID hit, the Pawtucket resident decided she had had enough so up and quit.
“I just wasn’t happy doing it anymore; I got fed up,” she said. “I decided I wanted to do something I enjoyed, so I talked to my husband, Gil, and told him I wanted to go back to school. He knew I hadn’t been happy, so he just said, ‘Honey, go for it!’”
Now, two years later, Tavares – at age 51 – is the proud owner of her own skin-care business, one creatively called “Trading Faces LLC.” The educated and certified esthetician specializes in facials, waxing, back facials, cleansing, exfoliation and moisturizing, including Brazilian waxes, and she uses only the best non-toxic skin-care products with pre-probiotics.
Still, the black T-shirt she’s wearing with white lettering best describes her message, and promise, to her new customers best:
“I’m a hair waxing, pore cleansing, selfie improving, confidence building esthetician!”
She opened her business less than a month ago, on Oct. 15, inside The Cutting Edge Salon at 778 South Main St., or Route 152, in Attleboro, which is less than two miles from Baker’s Corners near the north Seekonk/ Pawtucket line.
“As soon as I quit that job, I knew what I wanted to do because it’s what I’ve enjoyed the most whenever I went to a spa,” she said. “I liked the fact that facials and waxes made me feel happy, relaxed, self-confident and beautiful, and I wanted to make other people feel the same way.”
At age 49, she began attending the Anli Academy on Wampanoag Trail in East Providence, and admitted that the first weeks were nerve-wracking and difficult.
“It was rough going back to school with my classmates, who naturally were high school – and college-aged women, and here I was, closing in on 50,” she said. “I started part-time in September of 2020, then went full time.”
She graduated this past April and became a licensed esthetician after studying everything
from skin foundations to anatomy/ physiology to skins disorders/diseases to skin analysis to skin care products to details of the treatment room to equipment.
“After I finished, I thought, ‘Now, what will I do with my license?’ so I started looking at different places,” she said. “I didn’t want to rent a room right away because I wanted to learn more about being an esthetician. I wanted more practice, more experience.
“I landed at a franchise wax center and I got that practice; I was getting back to doing facials. Then I saw an opportunity at The Cutting Edge on a social media post; they were advertising a room for rent, so I interviewed for that in late September. I interviewed with the owner, Deana Haselton, and she said, ‘You got it!’
“I remember it was a Friday, and she told me to think about it,” she continued. “I remember driving home, and I was both excited and nervous, but I knew the answer. I just smiled to myself and thought, ‘My dreams are coming true! Everything I worked for is happening.’”
He nevertheless did say her client base has been slow in growing, but she has received plenty of support – and practice – from her family members and friends, of course mostly female.
As for the naming of the business, she said she and Gil had compiled a list, but her son Bryan one day just blurted out, “Hey, Mom, how about Trading Faces?” and it stuck.
“The list kept getting smaller as we crossed out names – from 10 to eight to five,” Gil said.
Added Jo-Ann: “I decided Bryan’s would be the one because that’s exactly what I do – I help people trade one face for another one that’s better. It’s also a very creative name. It’s been slow starting, but family and friends have been really supportive. My first client was my daughter, Ashley, and I’ve probably seen 10 clients in here.
“I’ve also got another five from the community; that is, those women who come in here to the salon.”
According to Tavares, a client can expect her to analyze your skin, then provide a personalized treatment based on your individual needs. She also is able to provide various, updated treatments using the best products, and maintains advanced certifications in LED light therapy and microdermabrasion. She also specializes in body waxing.
“I really can’t believe this – I’ve started my own business – and I’m so excited!” she said. “Slow but sure, I’m building a clientele. It’s awesome!”
To make an appointment with Tavares, or for more information, call her directly at (401) 480-8931. You may also call The Cutting Edge at (508) 222-5592.